Law, Crime, Punishment & Human Rights

Faculty members in this area of specialization study individuals' engagement with law, the impact of laws on people's lives, and the ability of law to create real reform. Many focus on the social origins, transformation, and consequences of crime, punishment, and social control. Several faculty members have particular expertise in human rights, which builds on the University of Minnesota's reputation as the "Human Rights University."

Recent supported research includes: The Arnold Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, National Institute of Justice, National Science Foundation, and the Open Society Institute.

Faculty’s research interests include:

  • Imprisonment and inequality
  • Social control of substance abuse
  • Law, crime, and mental health 
  • Normalization, deviance, and stigmatization
  • Harassment and discrimination
  • Criminal law and procedure
  • Juvenile justice
  • Community corrections
  • Life-course criminology
  • Crime and human rights
  • Judicial responses to torture
  • International law in the criminal, human rights, and financial sectors
  • The global impact of laws promoting women's and children’s rights.
  • Religion, science, and law
  • Marriage laws and LGBT rights
  • National responses to genocide

Faculty members work closely with:

Faculty in this specialization are members of the Crime, Law, and Deviance Section of the American Sociological Association, which is currently chaired by Professor Chris Uggen. Most faculty members in this area of specialization are also affiliated with The American Society of Criminology and the Law and Society Association.

Associated faculty: Hassan Abdel SalamCawo AbdiElizabeth BoyleGabrielle FerralesMichael GoldmanKathleen Hull, Joshua PageMichelle PhelpsJoachim SavelsbergRachel SchurmanChristopher Uggen, Michael L Walker

Our faculty share a commitment with the University to value a diversity of viewpoints and experiences and to strive to provide a productive work environment for all University of Minnesota scholars from varying racial, ethnic, religious, social class, sexual identity, and national backgrounds.